A Day in the Dig

Here is a short video I made at the excavation I am working on this summer in the Roman Forum, with ISAR (The International Society for Archaeology, Art and Architecture of Rome) www.isarome.org If you know anyone interested in supporting our fundraising efforts, and leaving a positive mark on ancient Rome,  please pass on the link. http://isarome.org/donate

What’s on in Rome this Summer

People have been writing to ask me about special events around Rome this summer, so here is my hastily drafted list of a few exhibits I’ve seen recently. Again this year contemporary art appears amidst the ruins of the imperial palaces on Rome’s Palatine Hill, with the exhibit Da Duchamp a Cattelan. Part of the regular admission to the Forum/Palatine/Colosseum sites (€12, daily from 8:30 until 18ish), in the courtyards and …

Jane’s Walk Rome

Last Sunday a small group of intrepid walkers, some from La Sapienza where I teach, joined me in commemorating the great urban thinker Jane Jacobs by exploring Rome’s Tiburtino and Nomentana neighborhoods. I had designed a similar walk years ago as part of a series I dubbed “ecological itineraries.” The idea, in keeping with the mission of the annual world-wide Jane’s Walks events, is to walk the city as an act of …

Discovering the Prati-Trionfale Neighborhood

The Prati-Trionfale neighborhood is a bustling European-feeling part of Rome. Apart from the ever-present Vatican City (technically not in Prati or even in Italy) and Castel Sant’Angelo, there is not much in the way of cultural highlights to attract people here. Instead, Prati thrives on business and daily life and this can be a welcome respite from the Stendhal syndrome which strikes the visitor exhausted from seeing a famous monument at every …

Just Outside Rome: Hill Towns and Aqueducts

The countryside around Rome, while not quite as picturesque as Tuscany or Umbria, is rich with fascinating destinations for exploration — and eating. This weekend I drove out to visit my friends Jenny and Umberto in Palestrina and was rewarded with an in-depth tour of one of the most densely layered towns in Lazio: from prehistoric settlements (now lost),  alleged Pelasgian roots evidenced by massive walls of opus poligonale,  and most importantly the imposing sanctuary of Fortuna, all …

Rick Steves and Rome’s Bridges

Rick Steve’s End of Year message, illustrated with my sketches of the bridges of Rome’s Tiber river, launched a hopeful message about the importance of building bridges and not erecting walls. Bridges are indeed a strong symbol of outreach, of communication and connection. They have other connotations too, though. Bridges provide shelter for the disenfranchised (such as the many immigrants arriving in Italy from troubled zones of the planet). They …

“Ponti di Roma” Limited Edition Foldout

This holiday season I decided to go out and draw Rome’s bridges, making a small watercolor for twelve of the 24 Tiber river crossings from Testaccio to Flaminio and compiling them into a meter-long folding print, complete with information on each bridge. The original drawings and the foldouts are both available for sale at the bookshop “Antica Libreria Cascianelli” near Piazza Navona, where we held an interesting reception last week. …

Urban observations: Conversation on Roma

Join us for an informal bilingual discussion about Rome, its resources and challenges, its magic and mundanity,  the hourly headaches and the monthly miracles. Architect Tom Rankin is author of the book Rome Works: An Architect Explores the World’s Most Resilient City and the blog Sustainable Rome sustainablerome.net and former Director of the association TEVERETERNO which realized William Kentridge’s Triumphs and Laments.  Images will be show, refreshments will be served. …